The Cinque Terre National Park is known for its villages hanging on rocks and steep cliffs plunging into the Mediterranean. Located in south of Genoa (Liguria), Cinque Terre is the smallest national park in Italy; an illustrious example of the human ability to adapt to the environing nature. Constituted of five villages ‒ hence the name: Cinque, five; Terre, land ‒ Vernazza, Corniglia, Riomaggiore Monterosso and…
Perched on a 70 meters-high dark rock, on the mountain range overlooking the sea between La Spezia and Levanto, Manarola seems to be rooted in the past, staying away from modern influences. This typical fishing village has long been accessible only by rail or track. In the heart of a terraced landscape shaped by man, it is one of the most spectacular sites of the coast. Said to be the oldest village of the five, the structure of Manarola is amazing because the base of the village is down below, dipping its feet in the water; houses seem then to storm the hill upward to completely cover the stone promontory. With its colorful typical houses, huddling against each other and brightening up the steep rock with their chatoyant colors, and its wonderful medieval heritage, Manarola will definitely seduce lovers of Mediterranean ambience.
WHERE TO STAY
The toughest task here is to make up one’s mind and choose from the wide selection of hotels available in Manarola, which will satisfy the most demanding of customers. La Terrazza Albicocca Terrazza Albicocca took its name from the apricot tree that sitting at its threshold. Stay there and immerse yourself in the characteristic sweet life of fishing villages of Cinque Terre. Discover Manarola from a romantic angle. Push the doors of an old wine cellar into a beautiful panoramic studio. Discover a charming studio furnished for your getaway for two. On the threshold, you have a beautiful furnished terrace overlooking the sea.
Terrazza Casa del Duomo
Welcome to a nice apartment hotel in the heart of Manarola . Here, you will be near Piazza della Chiesa di San Lorenzo : opt for the unique atmosphere of daily life in this picturesque region and refuel emotions.Take your loved ones to discover Cinque Terre while staying in a spacious apartment in the center of Manarola . Take the family to conquer the magical scenery and trails of the most prized natural park in Italy. Just behind the French border lies a world of natural wonders you will find in any convenience. Simple and austere in its decoration, this apartment hotel offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the daily life of the smallest villages in Cinque Terre. You will stay in deed close to the church and one of the town squares. In addition, the terrace and the views are truly unique.
Terrazza Mediterraneo 1
However you want to live in Manarola, Terrazza Mediterraneo 1 offers enough facilities and amenities to let you stay there even a few days more. The kitchen is spacious enough to cook and eat in it, contributing greatly to the comfort … even if good restaurants abound in the area! Take possession of your holiday time in an apartment of deco design , with warm colors and wooden floors. You will love the mosaics in the bathroom, a small masterpiece in a small space.
Terrazza del Capitano
Enjoy the luxury of staying in a beautifully renovated apartment, in the heart of the magnificent Park of Cinque Terre, in Manarola. From there, you have the opportunity to stroll the streets of Manarola and, come the evening, listen to the lapping of wavelets on the harbor, while the fishermen are already preparing to go out for the night. Experience the return to calm in a small village and witness its authenticity at sunset.
The gastronomy of Liguria province has a strong emphasis on seafood. Among the specialties you can enjoy during your visit are:
– The limoncino
– The basil pesto
– Green sauce with arugula and pine nuts
– Anchoïade herbal
– Sciacchetrà: A local nectar, a sweet white wine best to be paired with cheese or desserts.
WHAT TO DO
Manarola is one of the most beautiful villages, not only in Cinque Terre, but the whole Italy!. A place like this should be taken a step at a time, no rush! The best way to do so is to just walk and explore the picturesque trails. If you want to hike to enjoy the views, you have to do a little tour of Manarola. You can follow the trail from behind the church and go around the village. You will discover a fantastic view of the sea and Manarola. You should complete the lap in about 25 minutes. But if you want to extend the tour and stay in the scenery, you know you can! Manarola is one of the most beautiful villages of Cinque Terre. You will find there many splendid spots you don’t want to miss, like:
Small beaches below the cliffs
Bring your swimsuit when you walk the trails! Many of them lead to the bottom of the cliffs. Take a break and enjoy the sunshine. If you have kids, this is the perfect place for a fishing or swimming. Manarola, like all Cinque Terre villages by the way, is clinging to the rocks. Basically it only has one street which leads to the small port. There is no port in Manarola really but a harbor pier where fishing boats are drawn, giving this place a picturesque and authentic look.
Via Belvedere: Stroll among thousands of colors
One of the main streets of the colorful and sometimes dreamlike Manarola , houses small shops full of local products of Cinque Terre, ice cream parlors and sailors restaurants. It is lined with brightly colored houses typical of the Genoese architecture that has so much influence in this region. A place to let go, to photograph here and there, you lose track of time and walk around for no reason. At the end of the day, the Via Belvedere is a beautiful natural balcony of the sea that ends in a square of panoramic images, where the Mediterranean welcomes you and invites you to enjoy these places slowly to the rhythm of the waves.
Via dellAmore: Go the “Love Way”
It is a well known footpath, which is also ùthe shortest, it joins the towns of Manarola and Riomaggiore, the next village. The trail known localy as “Via dellAmore” or the Way of Love, can be easily finished in twenty minutes walking. On the way, if you need a drink or catch your breath, you can sit in a small bar where you can enjoy the view of Manarola.
Enjoy a boat ride
Navigation in Manarola is special and strongly recommend. The boats having no place to dock , the only solution is to embark on a walk in the shallow water and then climb on a ladder. This also requires a very calm weather and flat sea. So keep a good watch on weather and throw yourself into the water! The experience is worth it.
Ride between grapes
The cliffs surrounding Manarola are all dotted with vineyards, cultivated by local farmers. They carry their product in a sort of little archaic train to avoid climbing dozens of times a day. You can however hike there on foot, especially to the panoramic point in Maranola. The village restaurants offer all their wine map of the region, obtained from grapes harvested in these famous vineyards, a sweet white wine, perfect for summer.
See the other four villages
You should visit the other nearby and no-less spectacular four villages (Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza). The train is the most convenient mode of transportation between each of the five villages of Cinque Terre, as it is difficult to drive around in car, given the narrowness of the roads. You can also take hiking trails that have been built between the five villages. Manarola, just like any other village in Cinque Terre, has a railway station from where you can take the train to rally other villages or major Italian cities like Genoa or even Rome. Manarola Station is located midway on the avenue Disco Volo, between the sea and the hills. It can be reached by a long underground corridor decorated of the most beautiful pictures of the region. Departures are very frequent and it only costs €1 to get to Riomaggiore, the next village.
BEST TIME TO GO
If you want to avoid the so touristy time, it’s best to visit Manarola in April / May or September / October. Temperatures will be much more conducive to the effort of trekking and walking. This period is best if you want to avoid the flood of summer tourists from around Europe. However, if you have planned your trip in summer months, it’s recommended that you get up and head out on the road very early; midday sun is particularly strong.